Saturday, November 7, 2009

Baking Bread

I love to bake bread.
The old fashioned way - not with a bread machine but by kneading the dough by hand.
To me, kneading the dough is not only therapeutic but gives bread that loftiness which is so desirable.

I use a Sourdough Starter for my bread. This is a mild tasting Starter so you needn't worry if you don't like that strong tasting sourdough flavor. Today we are going to begin with the Starter and then next week, we'll make the bread. This recipe was given to me many, many years back by a friend.


1 package or 2 1/4 tspns active dry yeast
2 1/4 cps lukewarm water (use water potatoes have been boiled in for faster results)
2 cps all-purpose flour

Use either a glass or pottery bowl to mix the starter. (NEVER, EVER use a metal bowl. Or store the starter in a metal container! The yeast can have an adverse reaction to the metal which will kill it.) Place 1 cp of the lukewarm water in the bowl. Add the yeast and stir. Add remaining water. Stir. Gradually add the flour, stirring after each addition. Use a fork to help break up any flour lumps. Do not over beat the starter.

Cover the bowl loosely with a clean cloth. This exposes the mixture inside to yeast spores in the air. The spores will then react with the mixture, causing the Starter to begin 'working'. Set the bowl in a warm area for a minimum of 24 hrs. Be careful and do not place your Starter in an area which is too warm (90 deg or over) because this will kill the yeast spores. Skim off (and discard) any liquid which may accumulate on the top of the starter. The mixture will become bubbly and sour smelling. There should be about 2 cps of Starter after skimming. At this point the Starter can be refrigerated or used. If the Starter turns orange in color at any time, discard and start over.

Store the Starter in a crock or glass jar. The starter should be used at least once a week. However unused starter will remain 'alive' for several weeks if refrigerated. It can even be frozen.

Sourdough Starters were a very important part of Frontier Life; a very personal possession. It provided the yeast for the Staff of Life. Starters can be kept alive for many, many years. And the longer the Starter's history, the more potent it is considered. Magickal powers were often given to Sourdough Starters. Maybe because the yeast in sourdough is good for the digestive system.


Karri said...

Makes me feel sooooo lazy. I used to make bread all the time. Nothing like good old fashioned homemade bread still warm from the oven! Maybe I'll make some this weekend...and a big pot of chowder to go with it!

Take Care,

lani said...

Here here forthe old fashion way of doing things this is one of my favorite ways to make bread....bread maker bahhhhhh no we use our hands....god bless

Blue Moon said...

Oh this sounds soooooo yummy! I love fresh, warm, home made sourdough!!! I love making bread too. I have a favoriete recipe I use for greek bread with green olive slices and chunks of feta cheese in it - so yummy! I have heard of these "starter" doughs on cooking shows, but never understood the process.. Thanks for the recipe !!!

Laura said...

thanks for this, i'm going to give it a try soon.


Zan Asha said...

Ahhh, a woman after my own heart. I used to make bread, the kind that mama makes (literally--she taught me everything I know about bread bakin')--but, man, I just don't have the time anymore! Dern city livin'!

Bridgett said...

Believe it or not, this is a lot of new information for me.

Very interesting!

Jeanne said...

I'm glad everyone enjoyed this post. Next week, we're going to make bread from the Starter.

ODD imagination said...

I remember waaay back when my mother had me start a batch before we left for church. When we came home it had overflowed the bowl onto the table and then to the floor. Maybe I made too much? :o)
I am glad you posted this because I couldn't remember how to make it!

Jeanne said...

Funny story about the Starter runnignall over the floor! My Mother named her Starter because every once in awhile it would overflow - it seemed to have a mind of its own!

Dede said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I am going to try this starter tomorrow when I have time to make sure it doesn't have a mind of its own. LOL


Gruvkitty said...

Thank you so much! I've been meaning to make some bread, but I've never tried to before and was feeling a bit overwhelmed. This is perfect!